How An Aging Website Destroys Your Organic Search Ranking

Were you one of the first to jump on the dental website bandwagon?  Do you have a website that’s 20, 10, or even just five years old?  Did you shop for the lowest bidder and then accept your current design without fully understanding digital marketing strategy?  If so, what was once a great move to improve your visibility may now actually be hiding you from potential patients.  Here are three previous best practices that could be hurting your local SEO today.

1. Frames

The way individual web pages are created has changed drastically over the years. Today, you can use a main template and central administrator settings to change page titles, menus and background images across all of your pages.  Previously, each individual web page needed to be created by hand. If you wanted to change your menu, you had to adjust every page. To get around this, developers started using frames. Each page might have two or more frames. You’d have the main content frame, a side menu frame, possibly a header frame and maybe even a footer frame.  The problem was that search engines couldn’t put the frames together and saw them as separate web pages that didn’t have enough content to rank. If your website has frames, you need to upgrade it ASAP.

2. Image Header

Many websites had, and some still use, a nice image at the top of each page with the company’s name and logo in fancy font.  The problem is search engines can’t read images.  If your company name is in an image, a search engine can’t figure out who you are.  If you want to come up in searches for your dentist’s names, your practice name should be included in text.

3. Fixed Layouts

As website designs got more sophisticated, developers needed new ways to control the layouts. One way was by assigning fixed widths and heights to web pages as a whole, as well as individual items within each web page.  This worked when web pages were only viewed on computer monitors that were all roughly the same size. Today, your website needs to look good on a big desktop computer, a small laptop, and most importantly as a mobile site for a phone.  Because so many searches are now done on mobile devices, search engines push you down in the rankings if your website doesn’t work well on them.  Do yourself and your practice a favor and build a new website that is designed and optimized for mobile devices.  Make sure your local registry information is correct and accurate.

If you need a dental website, content, blogging or video, mailers or other dental marketing assistance we have solutions for you!  We know dentistry and we know dental marketing.  Contact GrowPracticeGrow today and talk to a dental marketing expert!

Website Ranking: How it works & why it matters

The realm of Internet marketing can be a harsh landscape, if you aren’t well-versed in many of the important techniques companies utilize to remain visible and competitive on the Web. While there are many Internet marketing methods, the ultimate goal of each is the same: to increase website ranking, which subsequently improves online visibility and ensures that your site is found first, before those of your competitors.

What Exactly Is Website Ranking?

Website ranking is essentially a place in a list. The higher you are on the list, the more likely you are to be seen by those searching for you. It doesn’t matter how well your website has been designed, or how good the products you sell are—if you don’t achieve a strong website ranking, your website may never be found.

The categorization of your website is determined by the relevance of your website to specific search criteria—namely the keywords and keyphrases utilized in your website content and other sources that link back to your site.

The search engines consistently browse through the millions of existing webpages, online PDF files, images and videos, and index them according to their content or titles. When someone enters a search request into the search engine’s search box, the relevant websites appear in a list, ranked according to the relevance determined by the search engine.

How is my website affected by website ranking?

As mentioned above, if you don’t rank highly in relation to relevant keywords and keyphrases, your website might not appear on the first or second pages of search results, which is detrimental, because most consumers don’t bother to look past the second page of results.

Consider your own search habits: imagine you are searching “sushi restaurant in Smithfield.” You will be presented with pages of results, but how many will you actually look at? You might not even go past the first page if you find one you like. That is the same consumer behavior exhibited by millions, which is why it is vitally important for your website to appear as high as possible in the ranking.

How can I improve my ranking?

SEO or search engine optimization is the first step in establishing a strong page ranking and increasing your online visibility.  By finding keywords you want to associate with your business, strategically placing those words in your content, using correct meta tags, image naming, providing unique and effective content and much more, you can get your website ranking and traffic up in no time at all.  SEO is a complex subject, much too complex for a brief summation in this post.  Optimizing your website to rank well on Google requires a mixture of several different strategies.  I would encourage you to reach out to me or another marketing professional to further discuss your options and how to get your site ranking on the first page of search in your area. 

Stop Using Stock Photography: A Dentist’s Guide to Online Imagery

As you’re scrolling down your news feed, what’s more likely to catch your attention—more of the same black-and-white text, or a striking high-quality image? Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have long been hubs for image sharing, but photos are now uploaded to almost every social media site, including the big three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s time to utilize the basics of posting practices to ensure your content reaches the audience it deserves.

Facebook

Facebook has always been the premier site for multimedia sharing. The wide interface is great for individual photos and albums, so people are naturally inclined to add pictures to their Facebook accounts. But what you may not know is that posting with pictures actually earns you a wider audience. A study by eMarket showed that photos make up 87 percent of re-shares on Facebook! That’s huge—especially considering that re-shares are the most valuable type of interaction on Facebook. Re-shares make your posts visible to a broader audience than your own following, and thus Facebook’s algorithm gives re-shares more weight than likes or comments. This means adding images will boost your visibility on other Facebook feeds.

Twitter

Tweets are meant to be short and pithy, and what’s more succinct than a picture? While a picture may be worth a thousand words, photos attached to Tweets don’t drain your character count. According to Buffer, tweets with images get an average of 18 percent more clicks than those without. Even better, tweets with images earn 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. There’s no reason not to post more images on Twitter.

LinkedIn

If you’re using LinkedIn, photos can help you in two ways. First, like any good profile, a high-quality profile picture attracts more interest than a picture-less profile. Forbes says profiles with pictures are seven times more likely to be viewed. Once you’ve done this, you can also post photos along with your LinkedIn updates, which creates more clickthroughs for your posts in the same manner it does on Facebook and Twitter.

Whatever site you’re using, make sure your photos are of good quality–there are so many cool filter options as well to enhance photos as needed. Be sure you re-size images or crop them to fit each site so nothing important gets cut off. If you don’t know how to do this, websites such as Canva offer free graphic design software that makes this a snap! These practices illustrate your attention to detail, and eye-catching images draw attention to what’s really important: your content. In the end, a good picture may be worth a thousand likes.

Your 90’s Website Is Destroying Your SEO

Were you one of the first to jump on the dental website bandwagon?  Do you have a website that’s 20, 10, or even just five years old?  Did you shop for the lowest bidder and then accept your current design without fully understanding digital marketing strategy?  If so, what was once a great move to improve your visibility may now actually be hiding you from potential patients.  Here are three previous best practices that could be hurting your local SEO today.

1. Frames

The way individual web pages are created has changed drastically over the years. Today, you can use a main template and central administrator settings to change page titles, menus and background images across all of your pages.  Previously, each individual web page needed to be created by hand. If you wanted to change your menu, you had to adjust every page. To get around this, developers started using frames. Each page might have two or more frames. You’d have the main content frame, a side menu frame, possibly a header frame and maybe even a footer frame.  The problem was that search engines couldn’t put the frames together and saw them as separate web pages that didn’t have enough content to rank. If your website has frames, you need to upgrade it ASAP.

2. Image Header

Many websites had, and some still use, a nice image at the top of each page with the company’s name and logo in fancy font.  The problem is search engines can’t read images.  If your company name is in an image, a search engine can’t figure out who you are.  If you want to come up in searches for your dentist’s names, your practice name should be included in text.

3. Fixed Layouts

As website designs got more sophisticated, developers needed new ways to control the layouts. One way was by assigning fixed widths and heights to web pages as a whole, as well as individual items within each web page.  This worked when web pages were only viewed on computer monitors that were all roughly the same size. Today, your website needs to look good on a big desktop computer, a small laptop, and most importantly as a mobile site for a phone.  Because so many searches are now done on mobile devices, search engines push you down in the rankings if your website doesn’t work well on them.  Do yourself and your practice a favor and build a new website that is designed and optimized for mobile devices.  Make sure your local registry information is correct and accurate.

Web Analytics & Your Dental Practice

Web analytics are a powerful tool that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of digital marketing campaigns.  While many dentists may feel that it’s a waste of time to implement and use Web analytics, it can help attract more patients to your dental practice.  Google Analytics, one of the more accessible Web analytics tools, is an excellent place to start your analytics journey.

Get Clear Customer Data
Web analytics lets you gather information about visitors to your website.  You can see what people are looking at when they browse your website, whether they’re there simply to book an appointment or to learn something new from your blog.  Understanding what potential patients are looking for offers you an opportunity to tailor both your website and your dental practice to meet their needs.

Analytics programs also provide you with demographic data such as age, gender and location, which can help you to identify your target audience, as well as any gaps in the market that you could target down the line.

Optimize Marketing Campaigns
Digital marketing campaigns need to be evaluated constantly due to the ever-changing nature of digital content and the way users interact with data.  To discover if any changes are having the desired effect of driving more people to your practice, it’s vital to have key metrics that are evaluated in real time.

Web analytics provide metrics that can show you how effective your marketing campaign is by evaluating how many people interact with your website per day and how many of them go on to make bookings. It’s essential to know which marketing strategies are working and which ones aren’t in order to ensure that you’re spending your time and money on strategies that pay off.

Identify Popular Services
Web analytics can help you discover what your most popular services are and where most of your revenue is coming from.  It can also provide you with information about whether customers think your pricing for a given service is fair.  For instance, if 100 people look at teeth whitening services, but only 10 make a booking, it’s likely that you need to reconsider your pricing.

Web analytics isn’t only for large businesses with dedicated marketing departments. It can be adapted for use by any small-business owner, and is well worth the investment.